Frequently asked questions

Got questions about dental care or our services? Browse through some of our most frequently asked questions below to get the answers you’re looking for. If the answer to your question isn’t here, or you’re interested in making an appointment, contact our team at Smith Street Dental today.


Even before your baby sports their first tooth, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of wiping their gums with gauze or a soft, wet washcloth during bath time: 0–2 years old.


You can start to clean a baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. As more teeth begin to appear, brush the child’s teeth with a soft toothbrush and water. DO NOT USE toothpaste at this stage. It may be difficult at first, but a baby will become used to this routine.

Start using children’s fluoridated toothpaste from 18 months old. Use no more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and make sure children do not swallow excess toothpaste. Always check with your dentist about the right choice of toothpaste for your child’s age and tooth development.

We recommend bringing your baby to visit the dental surgery from when their first tooth appears or they are 12 months old, whichever is sooner. From then on, we recommend visiting at least once yearly.


Generally we advise our patients to come and see us every 6 months for a full check-up and clean, but everybody’s needs are different. Risk factors that may mean you need to visit us more often can include, having diabetes, being a smoker, or a family history of dental problems such as plaque build-up and decay.

A check-up appointment at Smith Street Dental is usually about 20–30minutes long. The dentist completes a comprehensive examination of your face, neck and mouth, including the soft tissues. We may need to take some small radiographs (x-rays), to check between your teeth and underneath current restorations. We will then discuss your treatment options and inform you of your condition and explain what is best for you.


At this appointment, you may decide that you would also like a clean performed. The dentist will then perform a thorough removal of plaque and stain from your teeth. If you suffer from a more advanced gum disease or have a lot of build up on your teeth, this visit may not be enough to remove all the build up, but it’s a great start towards improving your oral health. You may need to return for an additional visit to complete your cleaning appointment.

Some problems won’t be noticeable to you at home, which is why it’s important to get regular check-ups.

There are some warning signs that you can spot yourself. Look out for:

  • Gums that are swollen, tender, bleed when you brush or floss, or appear red (gums should be a pale pink colour)
  • Oral pain, especially while chewing
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Consistent bad taste in mouth
  • Teeth that are unusually sensitive to temperature

We advise:

  • To brush at least twice per day, using a soft toothbrush or electric toothbrush
  • Brush your tongue, as plaque & bacteria love to accumulate here
  • Use floss or interdental brushes daily
  • If you have a high decay rate, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash after meals
  • Avoid snacking on sugary or acidic foods
  • To brush at least twice per day, using a soft toothbrush or electric toothbrush

Teeth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discolouration. The system we use here at Smith Street Dental is the ‘take home system’.

This involves having special moulds taken of your teeth to construct bleaching trays. You will then be given instructions by us on what to do at home.

Teeth whitening is completely safe and doesn’t harm or damage the teeth. It can cause temporary sensitivity when using the bleaching products but this will disappear once treatment is finished. We will explain all the pros and cons in much greater details if you decide teeth whitening is something you would like to consider.

Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or several teeth, or to support partial or full dentures. Implants are proven to be a long lasting alternative to bridges and dentures. Implants bond with the bone to form a stable foundation for permanent replacement teeth that look, feel and function like the real thing.

If you have a missing tooth or teeth, or a loose denture, dental implants may be right for you. There are many aspects to consider when getting an implant, as the health and condition of your gums and bone play a major role in the decision process. Without the healthy structure in place, the implants will not be able to thrive.

Dental crowns improve the structure of the tooth. If a tooth is heavily restored, it becomes fragile and weak and prone to fractures/splitting. A crown is a fixed restoration that covers the whole tooth, holding the tooth together. If the whole surface of the tooth is problematic but the root system is intact, a crown might be the ideal solution.


Yes we do! How much your health provider covers depends on your level of cover and yearly limits.

We are preferred providers for:

  • Bupa
  • Medibank Private

This means if you are with any of these health funds you will get a better rebate with us.

It is very difficult to give exact quotes without a consultation, as every person and treatment plan is different. Once we have assessed your situation we can give you an itemised quote with all costs listed.